Kimi: 'No spat, that's a fact'
Kimi Raikkonen has played down a reported spat with Lotus and insists he is only pushing the team to improve its steering system.
KIMI RAIKKONEN: Is he changing his position with Lotus - or just pushing for change?
The former McLaren and Ferrari driver, it's been claimed, has repeatedly rejected Lotus' efforts to tailor the E20 car to Raikkonen's precise needs.
'COOL AND RELAXED'
"It's just because in other years I drove cars with really good steering," German reports quoted the 32-year-old 2007 World champion as telling the Italian magazine Autosprint. "There are a few things on which we can continue to work and improve. That's the only reason (for the reports)."
Raikkonen insisted that, in fact, the atmosphere at Lotus was "cool and relaxed" and run by people who "want to race and not have too much politics".
He clarified that he was not criticising Ferrari, which reportedly ended the contract with Raikkonen a year early in late 2009 because of the politics surrounding the arrival of Fernando Alonso and Spanish sponsor Santander.
"I felt good with them," he insisted. "I won a World title and I have no feelings at all towards them, good or bad. I'm happy with what I have. Things probably could have gone better, but what does it matter now?
"I know the reasons why I didn't stay but I don't want to talk about it now. As I said, I don't have problems with anyone."
He denied he opted to leave F1 rather than accept an alternative offer from McLaren because of a money dispute.
"That's not true," Raikkonen said. "The real reason is that I didn't see any need to sign for a number of months. wasn't desperate or willing to do anything to stay in F1."